A spokesman for the Taliban-led Afghan Ministry of Higher Education confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that the government has suspended university education for all female students in Afghanistan.
The higher education minister stated in a letter that this move restricting women's access to formal education is until further notice, with reports expecting it to take effect immediately.
The Taliban is committed to respecting women's rights as defined by the Islamic Sharia laws, not by secular customs imposed by the so-called international community. Female students will be allowed access to formal education once a decent cultural and religious environment has been created in Afghanistan.
Barring women from higher education is a step in the wrong direction for the Taliban. The choice is guaranteed to hurt the group's efforts to receive international donations at a time when the country is deep in an ever-worsening humanitarian crisis. The Taliban cannot expect to be a legitimate member of the international community until they respect the rights of all Afghans.